Saturday, September 18, 2021

Tony Cornero and the Stardust



While many architecture academics have criticized Las Vegas for its lack of substance, there may be no better example of this elitism than the scorn directed towards the Stardust.  For better or worse, history points to the Stardust as the defining moment when Las Vegas no longer required a jacket and tie to gain entrance to.  Instead of celebrating the brilliance in the Stardust’s minimalism, it was trashed for focusing more on the exterior signage and fa├žade, wrapped around a building that was little more than a massive, non-descript warehouse.  Whether inadvertent or by intention, it seems each time Vegas has successfully evolved to appeal to more diverse tastes, that success is met with opposition; Slut Shaming those who dare to find things appealing like neon signage, themed resorts or anything deemed inferior to "intellectual" tastes.  But the glory that is Las Vegas is knowing that judging people for what appeals to them has never made converts, it alienates; even if supplying that demand is more financially motivated than cultural.  When the majority doesn't see things the way you'd like them to, that doesn't mean they're wrong, it means you don't get it.  The Stardust got it, in a big way. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Tropicana LV




Tropicana is the kind of property in Vegas that everyone knows about but most don't spend much time at, which is a real shame.  Its contribution to the experiences available in the market is a unique blend of classic intimacy and affordable luxury.  Many properties in Vegas seek to transport you from everyday life to a personal version of paradise but the use of bright spaces gives it a feeling of warmth and carelessness.  Without excessive ornamentation or theming, Tropicana has succeeded in what can best be described as that happy place on a beach people can retreat to when the stressed of life reaches levels requiring such a place.   A truly transformative experience, all with the convenience of virtually any other imaginable adventure available just outside, brought to you as only the Las Vegas strip can. 

If your interested in learning more about the Tropicana, check out...





Saturday, May 22, 2021

Jackie Gaughan & the El Cortez





There are a collection of men who helped build the city of Las Vegas during its formative years that didn’t have colored pasts.  Their origins are not linked to organized crime and their stories aren’t the sort of things people make movies about.  However they would become the shining examples that the gaming industry could not only exist without the Mob but could continue to grow. A fact that was established in 1941 and continues to endure to this day.  The El Cortez is the city’s oldest hotel casino to continuously operate under the same name and only the 2nd casino ever added to the nation’s historical preservation list.  It’s also the only casino on that list still open to this day.  This is the story of the people and the properties that shaped Downtown Las Vegas.

For more information, check out

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Bob Stupak, Vegas World and the Stratosphere



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Today, Bob Stupak is considered just another colorful character in the history Las Vegas and properly credited as the visionary behind Stratosphere.  His tacky taste, public antics and wacky persona are all just part of his legend.  The truth is, Bob embodies everything negative you've ever been warned about gambling and the industry.  He didn't want to just take your money, he wanted to make you look foolish while he did it.  His nickname might as well have been "fine print Stupak” because just about everything he did had a catch to it or a technicality he hoped you would miss so he could exploit.  He preyed on those that didn't know better.  But what's wrong with that?  Most people know there is a mathematically proven way to play some games and yet willfully choose to ignore them in favor of strategies that increase the odds already stacked against them.  Some people believe the earth is flat.  The fact is we all have access to the same information, especially in the Internet age.  The only disadvantage one person has over another is self-imposed.  An intellectual isn't discourage from using their acquired knowledge so why is gambling any different?  Morality, you say?  Well, as Canada Bill Jones said, it's immoral to let a sucker keep his money.  I’m pretty sure Bob just thought it was fun.

If you're interested in learning more about Bob Stupak, check out No Limit: The Rise and Fall of Bob Stupak and the Stratosphere

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Great Consolidation of Las Vegas




Since the creation of modern day Las Vegas, there have always been people lamenting the good ole days, whatever that means to that individual at the time. Determining what is considered “good” is about as subjective as subjective can be.  Most people today will point to the time before the strip was primarily owned by 2 companies, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.  While the benefits of consolidation are obvious, potentially the best thing about it is the story of how it all happened.  To do that, we are going to have to trace back to how these assets exchanged hands before finally ending up in the corporate portfolio that are currently a part of.  To keep the story clean and the timeline defined, we are only going to focus on the majority owners and only their moves in Las Vegas.  We’re calling this, the Great Consolidation of Las Vegas